Michael Novak was born in Los Angeles, and lived in New York City for ten years before moving to Portland in 2007—officially placing him in the category of “person most despised by native-born Portlanders.” Over a 20-year career, he’s been an editorial Art Director at Time Warner and Portland Monthly, as well as an illustrator, designer, animator, and storyboard artist. 

The highlight of Mike’s brief animation career was a year-long stint as a character layout animator on the Fox show King of The Hill, before he decided that drawing Hank Hill all day long was pretty damn boring. After the act of sitting at home waiting for the phone to ring put the kibosh on his freelance illustration career, he discovered design, which he loves.

His duties at Portland Monthly consist of making the magazine look and read awesomely, by designing covers, features, and pretty much anything else. In his free time he likes to sleep.

Best Restaurants

Portland’s Top 50 Restaurants

The legends, new voices, and mad scientist ideas that make Portland a strange and wonderful food city.

01/14/2022 By Karen Brooks and Katherine Chew Hamilton

Recipe

Make Davenport Chef Kevin Gibson's Seafood Stew

Transport yourself to Catalonia with this nutty, toasty, tomatoey romesco de peix.

01/11/2022 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Shopping

10 New Portland Stores that Make Us Happy

Fresh tees, vintage sneakers, the perfect card: find them all at these new Portland shops.

12/14/2021 Edited by Fiona McCann

Best Restaurants 2021

A New Kind of Food Cart Pod

From living-room-like nooks to cavernous food halls, these places are reinventing the long-beloved food cart pod.

12/07/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Food News

‘Top Chef’ Contestant Gabriel Pascuzzi to Close Stacked Sandwich Shop

A sad farewell to the oxtail French dip sandwich—get yours before December 19.

12/01/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Shopping

Portland Monthly's 2021 Holiday Gift Guide

When you shop local you’re giving the gift of Portland and giving a gift to Portland at the same time.

11/23/2021 By Gabriel Granillo Photography by Michael Novak

Interview

A Voice from the COVID Trenches

OHSU nurse Andy Paulson tells us why he’s sticking it out: 'We’re short staffed, we’re tired, people are really sick.’

11/23/2021 By Julia Silverman

Best Restaurants 2021

Pizza Hits Peak Pie Time in Portland

Dimo’s, Pizza Thief, and Cafe Olli bolster the case that Portland is America’s best pizza city.

11/19/2021 By Karen Brooks

Education

Enrollment at the State's Biggest School District Is Down 4.1 Percent

Kindergarten enrollment stays flat, and the majority at the PPS Online Learning Academy are students of color, according to 2021 data.

11/15/2021 By Margaret Seiler

Real Estate

Will City Council's Vote on Historic Neighborhoods Help Address Our Housing Crisis?

Some supporters of change say the current system has been shaped by and contributes to racial inequities.

11/05/2021 By Karly Quadros

Holidays

Portland’s Must-Visit Thanksgiving Pie Shops

From Katherine Benvenuti’s pumpkin-speculoos to Bakeshop’s brown-butter apple with buckwheat streusel, these are the essential Portland Thanksgiving pie shops.

11/05/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton

Travel

Quick and Easy Day Trips for Fall Fun

Orchards in the Hood River Valley, spooks in St. Helens, fall revelry in Wilsonville, and more

10/22/2021 By Gabriel Granillo, Rose Lee, and Fiona McCann

Coffee

5 Portland Roasters Weaving Culture and Identity into Coffee

The owners of Portland Cà Phê, Café Zamora, Super Joy, and more source beans from countries where they have deep family roots.

10/21/2021 By Monica Salazar

Shops

El Interior Honors and Shares Traditional Mexican Folk Art

From colorful ceramic skulls for Día de los Muertos to floral table runners, Laura Gutierrez wants to share the art of her people.

10/08/2021 By Gabriel Granillo

Holidays

The Importance of Ofrendas on Día de los Muertos

Plus: We reach out to local Mexican/Mexican American/Latinx creators, makers, and businesses to help decorate our own ofrenda.

10/05/2021 By Gabriel Granillo

Best Restaurants 2021

Portland's Best New Food Carts

From kare kare fries to birria taquitos to vegan sushi rolls, this crop of newcomers offers a broad range of voices and experiences.

09/17/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton and Karen Brooks

Coffee & Tea

Portland’s 10 Best Bubble Tea Shops

Where to get the boba of your dreams, whether that means cheese foam, puff cream, rose-lychee, or a whole lemon.

09/08/2021 By Katherine Chew Hamilton, Nick Campigli, and Cami Hughes

Museums

10 Must-Visit Museums in Portland

From stalwarts like OMSI to oddities like the Zymoglyphic Museum, you can make a fruitful day of museum-hopping without ever leaving city limits.

09/08/2021 By Conner Reed

Farm to Fork

Asian Veggies Grow at Mora Mora Farm in Gresham

Plus, a beef stir fry recipe from Richard Le of Matta.

08/26/2021 By Jade Yamazaki Stewart Photography by Michael Novak

Shopping

A Custom-Built Trike Empire Grows in Portland’s Old Town

Icicle Tricycles builds everything from activewear to zine trikes.

08/25/2021 By Julia Silverman